Leonard Peltier International Tribunal on Abuse of Indigenous Human Rights
|Tribunal planning session|
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By Brenda Norrell
Read Leonard Peltier's statement on the upcoming Tribunal
ONEIDA, Wisconsin -- The abuse of Indigenous Peoples rights will be the focus of testimony when Native Americans put the US government on trial in Oneida, Wisconsin, during a three day tribunal on Oct. 2, 3 and 4, 2013, at the Radisson Hotel.
The public tribunal will digitally document first-hand witness accounts of 40 years of malfeasance in Indian Country, and the continuing struggles of Indigenous Peoples.
The issues include some of the most censored in the national and global media, including the sterilization of Indian women without their knowledge, the environmental racism that threatens survival in Indian country because of toxic dumping, uranium mining and dirty coal-fired power plants and the arrest of Native Americans carrying out their traditional hunting, fishing and gathering rights.
The Tribunal welcomes testimony on the theft of natural resources in Indian country, including the resources of minerals, coal, oil and gas, timber and aquifer and river water.
Native Americans will offer testimony on the horrific rate of suicides among Native children and the forces dividing American Indian families and communities. The Tribunal welcomes testimony on issues such as the targeting of Native Americans for incarceration and prohibitions which prevent Native American prisoners from practicing their traditional sacred beliefs.
The wrongful conviction of Leonard Peltier -- specifically the events that led up to the June 26, 1975, incident on Pine Ridge in South Dakota and the effects on survivors of this period -- will also be a focus of the Tribunal.
Dorothy Ninham, founder and director of Wind Chases the Sun, said, "We have an oral tradition. In this way, the stories about our 500 years of oppression have been passed down through the generations. Now, we have the means to record that history and share it with the world. The Leonard Peltier International Tribunal on the Abuse of Indigenous Human Rights will tell our stories with a focus on the last 40 years."
All Indigenous Peoples are invited to attend. Tribes are encouraged to send a delegation of tribal elders to participate.